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07.21.15 Public invited to hear progress of Bus Rapid Transit study on U.S. Route 29

July 21, 2015

Media Contacts:
Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
John Powell, Transportation Administrator, Office of Transportation, 410-313-0702

Public invited to hear progress of Bus Rapid Transit study on U.S. Route 29

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Representatives from Howard County’s Office of Transportation will discuss the status of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) study for U.S. Route 29 at the local Public Transportation Board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 28, at 7:00 pm at the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive in Ellicott City.

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman tasked the Public Transportation Board last month with evaluating the potential for BRT service along U.S. Route 29. The county’s Office of Transportation is managing the study, which includes other potential routes as well.

“The demands on U.S. Route 29 will continue to increase as the population of Howard County grows,” Kittleman said. “Widening roads to respond to increased traffic is costly and problematic. BRT represents a sustainable solution to reducing the growing congestion along existing roadways.”

BRT is a system of buses operating more like a rail system than traditional local buses. BRT systems often operate on dedicated lanes at specified times and incorporate technologies, such as signal preemption, to minimize travel time. BRT vehicles often stop at stations similar to light rail stations, allowing passengers to exit and board quickly to reduce stop times.

Funded through the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board, the BRT study will evaluate potential opportunities for BRT in Howard County along U.S. Route 1, Maryland Route 32 and the CSX right-of-way in Columbia Gateway Business Park, in addition to U.S. Route 29. The potential of operating BRT along U.S. Route 29 is enhanced due to efforts by Montgomery County to develop BRT along the same corridor.

“Our neighbors to the south have already identified U.S. Route 29 as a primary candidate for a BRT system,” said Ron Hartman, Chairman of the Public Transportation Board. “Therefore, providing a connection through Howard County represents a logical and efficient next step.”